‘niki & niki’ felting tools update, sizes and prices as requested again!

Thanks to everyone who has expressed such an interest in our ‘niki & niki’ felting tools, we’re blown away by all the orders and inquiries and thrilled with the positive response we’re getting from everyone who has already tried them out!!! Our latest batch of prodders has just arrived to be posted asap and the rest of the tools should be here shortly for those of you who are waiting! Apologies also to one friend and customer who has not yet recieved their package, if it doesn’t arrive any day now we’ll be posting out a replacement as soon as the new delivery of rollers arrives. We’re also considering offering registered mail as an option in the future and letting the purchaser choose whichever postal option they want, this would be less stressful for us in the event of any losses in transit. In response to the numerous enquiries we’ve been getting here is the basic info about the various tools again and in future when I get asked the questions I will have a definite link here to direct people to!

Meg fulling her hat at Dawn’s workshop with our prototype mini minimilast

Firstly I’ll reiterate that the tools are the result of a collaboration with great friend and designer Niki Collier, between us we are offering you tools that we both find invaluable in our own felting studios. I like to roll on top of the bubble wrap at the early stages of the felting process then directly on the felt as it gets stronger and is in the middle of fulling to shrink; several of my projects in the new book ‘Nuno Felting with Nicola Brown and Chrissie Day‘ used the rollers and the vessel used the prodder! Handmade and hard wearing, all ‘niki & niki’ felting tools may be personalised with your own name for an additional $8 up to a total of 10 digits including spaces, never lose a valued piece of felting equipment again!!! Niki is preparing a little care note to post with new orders but suffice to say that a good quality wood oil is perfect for keeping your tools in tip top condition, don’t forget to rinse off any soap also at the end of each felting session. Now for the sizes and prices excl P&P, this is charged according to which country we are posting to…..

  • The Big One – total length 56cms and an active rolling width of 36cms – $60
  • The Modest One – total length 50cms and an active rolling width of 30cms – $47
  • The Minimilast –  total length 24.5cms and an active rolling width of 21.5cms – $40 The length of this handleless roller makes it perfect for using both hands together directly on top of the ridged surface
  • The Mini Minimilast – a shorter handleless roller which we have been testing, final length and prices to be advised shortly
  • The Prodder – a handmade wooden prodder with a curved end that is a wonderful aid for stretching and shaping felt vessels and sculptures – $11

NB Please remember that I will be away teaching for the next 3 weeks, back for 1 week and then off to teach in Portugal followed by a weeks holiday there, back for one week then off to participate in a 6 day masterclass with Dagmar Binder in Scotland! In tandem with all this excitment and travelling I’m trying to set up my studio in Duckett’s Grove properly (from afar!) and look after the people who will be staying at Clasheen to mind the house and Rex in my absense. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to emails or questions immediately and if I do respond I won’t be writing a missive!!! I really appreciate all your kind comments and wishes for my trip to the US, I really can’t wait to be back and am so looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, I wish I had Dawn here though to help me with my packing!!!!! I’ll leave you today with Meg modelling her finished hat with Dawn, you can check out some of Meg’s other beautiful and stylish hats at Meg Kavanagh Designs!

Meg and Dawn with Meg’s beautiful finished hat!

 

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Using a felting roller to speed up the nuno process!

Yesterday morning I felted the piece which will actually be the first in my section of the new book with Chrissie, it’s a beautiful but simple scarf and I think the perfect project for anyone wanting to try nuno felting for the first time. I’m not going to have much time to blog for the next few days as I’m teaching, felting, writing, at the market and preparing the house for Dawn Edwards to arrive this day next week!!!

Using my 'niki & niki' roller directly on top of the bubble wrap

I will however post a few pics as I go along, the one today shows me using my felting roller on the top of the bubble wrap at the early stages of making my scarf yesterday. Instead of rubbing with my hands as I usually would before starting to roll, I simple rolled back and forwards with my ‘niki & niki’ felting roller all over my package 20 times on each side and the short fibre merino was already starting to migrate through the heavy silk fabric! Half the rubbing replaced with this rolling and a lot faster result, yay!!!

U.S. flights booked, residential workshop in Portugal filling up nicely, felting tools posted, Dawn’s materials have arrived and CRAFTed is underway!

It’s very busy here this week and will be until Dawn Edwards and Chrissie Day arrive so I’m going to post briefly with bullet points today!

  • I’ve just confirmed my flights a few minutes ago for my U.S. trip in May. I can’t wait to be back facilitating workshops in Lexington KY with Jan Durham on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th May, at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival on Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May and in Plainwell MI with Dawn Edwards on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May. Visit the workshop page for all the details.
  • Karin and I now have participants from the U.S., Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Iceland arriving to participate in the week long felting extravaganza in Portugal so there are only a few places left now! Here’s a link to the flyer with all the details. Flyer Felt workshop
  • Niki has personalised where requested and packed our first batch of felting tools and they are now en route to their new owners, thanks Rem (Niki’s husband) for bringing them to the post office yesterday. This first flush of orders came from Ireland, England, Austraila, right across the U.S. and Canada, wow!!!
  • While our ‘niki & niki’ tools went out in the post yesterday other felting materials came in by courier! I had placed an order with Wollknoll recently so the merino roving for Dawn’s two ‘Fantastic Felt Hats’ workshops in Borris on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April has now arrived as has the short fibre merino I need to bring with me to U.S., wool that I ordered for my current CRAFTed project came too and lastly I got some more ponge silk in chocolate brown for myself. I need this to nuno felt some more scarves for the new retail outlet which is opening shortly at Duckett’s Grove.
  • My collaboration with students at Rathnure NS for CRAFTed for the Crafts Council has changed shape somewhat. I was meant to have 26 six and seven year olds to work with but the school principal didn’t want one class to be split up so now I’m working with 35 pupils!!! It’s a very big group of little bodies, I think that Taragh (their teacher), Mary (a wonderful helper) and I will have our work cut out for us but it’s definitely going to be fun in the process! I’ll leave you with a picture from our first session last Wednesday, the pupils had never felted or handled wool before so were amazed at how it came together to form a strong fabric. These first pieces were all laid out on needlefelt; the children choose a couple of colours of wool to lay on top of the needlefelt, then added shapes of mohair off cuts and/or metallic fabric, some added swirls of natural and artificial knitting yarn and then all but one child added a generous sprinkling of shiny firestar!

Some of the first pieces of flat felt from senior infants and first class at Rathnure NS

Personalised felting tools now available, HELP PLEASE and turmeric update!!!

I’ve been attached to my computer since 7am this morning but I’m happy to say that the  ‘niki & niki’ range of felting tools are finally available to buy online!!!

'The Prodder', 'The Minimalist', 'The Modest' and 'The Big One'

Niki Collier and I are also really excited to offer an optional personalisation service whereby customers may have their own name (or maybe that of a friend!) branded on any tool, this service will cost E6 per item and up to 10 digits (including spaces) may be inscribed. I always label my own tools with a marker when I head off on my travels so this strikes me as a perfect but much more stylish solution, now it will be easier to keep track of all my equipment on the go!!!

The final names that we have selected for the tools are ‘The Big One’, ‘The Modest’, The Minimalist’, the ‘Mini Minimalist’ (all various lengths of rollers) and ‘The Prodder’ (shaper), thanks to everyone who had suggestions about naming the prodder!!! Head over to my Etsy store to see what we currently have in stock, I’m trying to add an ordering option for ‘The Prodder’ and ‘The Mini Minimalist’ because they’re already sold out, I was sure I should be able to do this on Etsy but maybe my brain is just too tired now! I’ll have another go again tomorrow but for now if you are interested in either of these tools email me and I’ll add you to the waiting list. I promise not to lose your details, see the next paragraph below!

The Prodder

HELP PLEASE The internet connection has been horrendous today so it’s taken almost 12 hours to get there, in the meantime I’ve been getting messages via email and Facebook from interested felters and that’s where I’m calling out to you. Since I first blogged that the tools were almost ready to launch (just over a week ago) I wrote down pre-orders on a piece of paper, but where on earth has that bit of paper gone??? If I haven’t already emailed you a request for payment this afternoon via PayPal please email me immediately, followers of this blog will already know that I’m disasterous when it comes to paperwork, sorry but unfortunately that’s the truth so if you want your order posted on Monday I will need your details again please. I did think that all the ‘prodders’ were already ordered but now I can’t remember all the names so apologies, Kim you may be in luck yet! Anyway, thanks in advance to anyone who does contact me again, I’m really sorry about this but I can’t do anything other than ask.

Finally for today, I’m getting a lot of people asking me about the staying power of the turmeric dyeing I did, the answer is that I just don’t know yet! I did research things a bit on the internet first, most people seemed to have no problems and I’m hoping that the vinegar I added as a mordant will be sufficient to help the colour remain fast. If not however, I’ll just re-dip again to bring back that lovely rich yellow!

Our ‘niki & niki’ felting tools are branded now and ready to go out in the post on Monday!!!

I’m thrilled with the new brand logo that Niki Collier has been painstakingly marking on all our new felting tools, tomorrow I’m going to post properly about them and share our final names but for now here’s a pic!!!

Image

They’ll be ready to go out in the post on Monday to those of you who have placed your orders already, we’ll just invoice you via PayPal over the weekend and send them as soon as we have addresses and know that the payment has gone through. Have a great weekend everybody!

Quick update and thanks

My neck is really tingling now (from an old injury) so I know it’s time to call it a day and stop felting and/or using the computer! Thankfully I’ve had a full day working, the market in the morning (very quiet today, no sales but definite workshop bookings), felted 2 nuno scarves this afternoon, a bit of catching up on the computer and a nice pot roast in the oven for later when Alan arrives. I promise some pics in the next post but for now I’m off to gather a few samples of my work and catch up on a bit of reading. I’ve been lucky enough to be selected as one of the artist/makers for the Crafts Council’s CRAFTed programme 2012 so I want to show a representative selection of my felt to the teacher of the class that I’ve been paired up with.
Thanks to everyone who has been suggesting names for the new felting tools and to everyone who has been ordering them, I’ll let you know the final descision next week!!!

‘Niki & Niki’ felting tools are on the way plus plenty of other felting news!

Well, everything definitely seems to be happening at once here. The first batch of felting tools that designer Niki Collier and I are having made to our specifications has arrived now and will be available for sale sometime over the next few days! We just need to burn our name on them, measure and weigh everything properly and then work out the postage costs, all the pieces are hand made so measurements will be as accurate as possible. You might remember recently I used the large textured roller to full my sister’s rug (you can find a picture in this post), it is 56cm long with a rolling surface of 38cm and a diameter of 4.5cm, it will be retailing for €45 excluding P&P. We also have a shorter version with an approx rolling surface of 25cm at €35, a handleless version measuring 20cm at €30 (I like this on my hands!) and a kind of ‘poker’ or ‘prodder’ for using when fulling vessels and sculptural pieces retailing at €8.

Niki & Niki's new little felting 'prodder'

Last night I was felting a little nuno inspired vessel with a lot of textured detail and the prodder was great for stretching and shaping whilst in the final stages of the fulling process. Obviously we need to come up with a better name for it so have a look at the first image and if anyone has any suggestions please pass them along!!! P&P costs will be kept to a minimum for all the tools, basically just what it costs up to wrap them up securely and get them sent to the various destinations, if you want to make an advance order please just email me asap, numbers are limited for this our first delivery! I should also mention that Niki is in the process of setting up her new design website and I’m honoured to be the first invited guest that she has interviewed, thanks Niki. If you want to read a little bit of Irish banter head on over to have a look at the interview!

This morning I ordered all the materials for Dawn’s ‘Fantastic Felt Hatsworkshops, please remember if you are one of the participants and have not already done so that the deadline for the balance of the workshop fee is on or before this Friday 23rd March.

Today I’ve felted a small nuno flap which I will be attaching (or hopefully attaching knowing my sewing skills!) to a leather pouch, this will be the prototype for a new design intended to be a phone, iPod or camera case and I’m hoping that all will work out well. The leather is from a large batch I bought the first time that I visited Dawn in Plainwell, we spent a great day visiting Saugatauk and Lake Michigan stopping en route at an office depot outlet where I picked the leather up for a song compared to what it would cost in Ireland. I love the combination of leather and felt but to date I’ve been too chicken to actually cut the pieces up and decide definitively what I’m going to do with them, wish me luck!

Speaking of luck, I’m thrilled to have received a letter confirming that Carlow County Council through the Arts Office have awarded me €550 to go towards the cost of attending Dagmar Binder’s masterclass in Scotland this summer, to say I’m delighted in an understatement!!!

Finally I’ll leave you with a better picture of my latest vessel, I’m not 100% happy with it as I wanted a more all over nuno effect but at least it’s a starting point so all is not lost. I laid it out using the design inside method and possibly needed to rub for a bit longer prior to rolling as some of the fabric needed to be snipped once I opened up the package. I also needed to pay more attention to the fact that the fabric would be reversed, obviously I needed to work from the outside in (or inside out) but even knowing what I should have been doing I laid some of the fabric back to front, ah well, I’ve lived and learnt!

Little textured nuno style vessel